Here’s a daunting fact: While more than 500,000 small businesses will launch this month, just as many will fold because they can’t meet overhead costs. Sure, there are factors beyond an owner’s control, like the economy and unforeseen industry changes, but successful small businesses find ways to pinch pennies, adopt wise practices and discover new innovations that save money.
Here are six suggestions:
1. Go paperless.
It isn’t just for bank statements anymore. Paperless options are enhancing how people run their business. For example:
• If contracts are part of your business, companies like Docusign have e-signing services that make documents easy to complete from thousands of miles away, saving time and shipping costs.
• Need to get hardcopy documents into your employees’, partners’ and client’s hands? Professional scanning companies can turn around large volume of documents in one day by converting them into CD-ROMS, DVDs or simple emails and integrating them with any software system you choose.
• Cloud computing has become a business game-changer. Cloud-based services now allow you to easily share documents with coworkers and clients so last-minute meetings can be scheduled in an organized, efficient way.
2. Evaluate your needs.
Make a list of all the items you spend money on for your business and then categorize them into essentials, enhancers and things you don’t need. Take the third list and eliminate everything on it. Take a good look at the “enhancer” list—are you getting a good ROI on each investment? If not, cut those, too. Whether it’s a barely used landline or a web service that could be replaced by a less-expensive service provider, every little bit counts.
3. Use a virtual office space.
Working from your own home is already a cost saver, but it poses challenges—like where to hold client meetings. Gathering around your kitchen table with Fluffy rubbing up against clients’ legs might not leave the best impression. Davinci Virtual Office Solutions was created to give you a better, cost-sensitive solution.
We provide office locations and virtual office services worldwide. With professional business addresses in over 950 prime locations, we offer mail forwarding, lobby and directory listings, access to conference rooms and day offices, catering, administrative services, business support centers and more.
4. Stay focused.
Likely you already use the clock to your advantage, but distractions happen—especially when you’re working from home (the dishes from last night, the random knock at the front door, phone calls both business-related and otherwise).
Gain valuable time-management techniques, like multitasking and daily planning, to stop the disruptions.
5. Use a virtual receptionist.
Another way to avoid distractions so you can concentrate on growing your business is to hire a virtual receptionist—and it’s a lot less expensive than hiring a staff member. Davinci Virtual Receptionist offers live, offsite specialized receptionists who can answer your calls (and screen and forward them) make appointments, place orders, process payments, provide customer care and make outbound calls for a small monthly fee.
6. Free advertising
Use that social media. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms are a small-business owner’s way to easily and cheaply spread the word about their business. Why not ask a client to take a moment to write a LinkedIn review in exchange for a fee discount? Or simply ask a client to post a tweet about their experience. It’s free advertising with a vast audience.
The big picture
Owning a small business is an exciting, challenging endeavor. And there is no way to eliminate overhead. But with a smart business plan in place, using all the resources available to you, it may become the most successful move you’ll make in your career. Learn more about how Davinci can help. Contact a member of our expert team today.